We're reaching the end of the year so it's been a bit slack on the socially accepted learning front as everyone is a bit tired and over it. There's been a lot of playing going on and in our usual fashion the 2015 program has already been modified before we could even think about starting it. Instead of doing bookwork every day, we're alternating with cooking where the kids will choose a recipe, check we have all of the ingredients before commencing (and write out shopping list to be able to do something next session if they really want a thing we don't have all the ingredients for) and do it themselves from start to finish. I will help with/supervise dangerous things (such as putting things in and out of ovens and anything that requires cooking on stove top) but they are otherwise on their own.
We had our last piano lesson for the year. Cub decided not to have his last lesson as he was recovering from being sick and had also skipped gymnastics for the same reason. The big two played a couple of songs they enjoyed playing and then played duets with the music teacher. The music teacher is moving house so said she would shoot us an email when they were all settled and ready to recommence. After music lessons we usually head to the park down the road for a little while so the kids can play on the play equipment, after which we do a lap of half the pond and observe the water birds and talk ecosystems and adaptations.
One of the more interesting conversations with 9yo involved him asking why a willow tree was the shape it was, and I said to stop other plants from getting to the light. He asked why they would do that, I said because if it didn't then the other plants would get bigger and stop it from getting light and it wouldn't be able to grow. He then concluded that everything lives based on murder, example plants preventing other plants from getting to the light so they can get it, animals (including humans, humans are animals) murdering other animals for food, and then the soil getting all the goodies from the leftovers and the plants drawing from that. I said yeah pretty much. He also wants to be buried in a cardboard box under an apple tree when he dies, because coffins stop the detrivores from doing their thing and prevents the soil from getting the goodness.
During the course of their walk-around-the-park-talking-their-way-through-a-roleplaying-game the big boys seem to somehow also manage to squeeze in looking at/finding things as during one of their games 9yo and his friends found a cicada skin:
The tomato jungle in the aquaponics (it is almost literally a jungle, I should take a photo of it) yielded a tomato bearing an unusual resemblance to a small pumpkin:
8yo had her badge test for gymnastics which was run like a competition to get the kids used to the feeling of being in a competition and being judged etc. She has earned her level 1 badge and also got a third place ribbon for floor, a second place ribbon for beam (we think, everyone was so excited none of us can remember :S) and a bronze medal for all rounder. We are just a tiny little bit proud.
She didn't smile much when doing the routines, or when she was getting the ribbons, but she tends to be quite poker faced when there's a lot of people she doesn't know around. After getting her second ribbon a friend and I were wondering if she would smile if she got one more and she broke on getting the medal. It's hard to see in the photo but there is a huge grin and after I'd told her we were so proud of her, she said she was really proud of herself too, and well she should be, she has been working hard and practises at home. The last gymnastics lessons for both her and the boys are next week, next year 8yo goes on to level 2 and both the boys will be in the level 1 boys class so I'm still only going in two days a week and my work day might even get to be a stay home day!
The kids are super excited about our trip to Christmas Island (though 9yo says he's not looking forward to the actual plane trip, he's like me and loathes the transit part of any trip). 8yo has written a list of things to "pake" and we've been running errands buying meat to take back and trying to get my aunty's dog used to Angus so we can leave him there while we're away as he will kill the chickens if left outside (and can also get through the gate which while he hasn't I don't like chancing things like that) and I've been trying to catch up on work so it's been busy. And in my attempt to try to keep things convenient for the group excursion I put it the day before we fly out because I'm so smart.
Leaving the booklist orders to when we get back and have no idea whether we'll be able to post Christmas Island photos from Christmas Island due to the abysmally slow and stupidly low quota internet but we'll see how we go.
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